Getting Ready for GPTC Practice

On Monday I made arrangements for a Wednesday afternoon track workout, so I tweaked my runs between now and then a little bit to be able to get everything done.  With a Philadelphia layover on Wednesday, I contacted my teammate Kevin Forde about maybe finding a track for some intervals that afternoon.  Layover runs are usually just mileage, with a tempo run the only “fast” variety available.  To get on a track during a layover would be a huge bonus – luckily Kevin was game and worked out the details to make it happen.  This stroke of good fortune changed things up a little bit between now and then….

Got to Seattle Sunday evening, but instead of a longer tempo run I shortened it up just a bit.  This would no longer serve as my only hard run of the week, and I didn’t want to be sore on Tue/Wed.  I found a decent waterfront trail that started downtown, then warmed up for a mile before stepping on the gas.  Had been doing this sort of thing in the 5:50-5:55 range lately, but instead of 6-8 miles I opted for 4 hard, 7 total.  Went through each one in about 5:45, monitoring my heart rate to analyze later (knee deep into Jack Daniels book – a whole other discussion….).  There was a big difference in the faster pace – 4 miles was very taxing.  Doubt if 6 at this pace would have been possible.  Finished fine, 2 mile cool down, finishing up the “urban mountain” to my hotel.

Long night, Seattle-Oakland-Ontario (LA)-San Diego.  I had arranged earlier to get together with an old Navy buddy here in town, so I hooked up with him around noon and we went 6 easy miles.  Guessing it was a little easier for me, but I think we both got something out of it – I got in a good recovery run, he probably got in a decent workout.  On week 3 of the new “easy” program, don’t know if it is working or not but I am starting to get used to it.  Stretched, then he took me down to Ocean Beach to look at all the beach bums and grab some great fish tacos – something you just can seem to find in central PA (beach bums or fish tacos)…

San Diego-Memphis-Philadelphia tonite, no picnic.  Will try to grab a good nap in Philly to be ready to meet Kevin and hit the track.  I haven’t run intervals with anyone in over 2 years, so I am hoping we can help each other perform better than we would be able to alone – can’t see how that won’t be the case.  That, and I am guessing both of us are competitively stubborn enough that somebody will probably go into cardiac arrest before crying uncle.  Think 6×600 is on the docket, always a fun one.   I’m sure by working together we’ll both get a great workout – for me this is a huge treat, so anything we get done will be more than I would have otherwise.  I feel particularly fortunate to have this opportunity fall into my lap – thanks Kevin, looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!


About Nick Berra

I am a 45 year old masters runner from Central Pennsylvania. I have been participating primarily in track events since turning 40 in 2009. This season has produced marks that I have not run in several years, I believe primarily due to starting a strength and flexibility program here at Elite Athletic Performance - I've felt stronger and faster than I have in a long time. That, coupled with lots of underwater running, has kept me healthy and fit - at this age those are things I no longer take for granted... I run USATF events with a team out of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Track Club. They are a great group who have played a big part in making the sport enjoyable for me again. I also run local races for HydroWorx Track Club, supported by HydroWorx here in Harrisburg PA. Their underwater treadmills and training center has proved to be a crucial part of my training, rehabilitation, and recovery programs. I set personal records in the 800m (1:56.06) in 2010 and in the 1500m (4:02:63) and mile (4:23.48) in 2011. Despite the fact that I am not getting any younger, I nearly PR'ed recently and set the M45 indoor world record in the 800 meters at the New Balance Armory in New York City. I ran 1:56.10, besting the 9 year old record by less than a second. I feel like there are still more big things to come... I am married and have two daughters. I am an assistant XC coach at my alma mater, Cumberland Valley High School here in Mechanicsburg PA. I am also a 1991 graduate of the US Naval Academy, currently working as a pilot for FedEx after serving 10 years on active duty flying in the Navy. Beat Army! Beat Army!
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